Imagine you just sat down to read your favorite book. Sprawled before you on the paper are numerous lines of text filled with information and stories grabbing you with every turn. But If you look closely, you’ll notice the white space boarding the text on all sides. Usually, the reader just flips each page without a thought, never even thinking the space between the words even matter. Have you ever thought about how we do this in our own lives? What if you actually learned the importance of your own margins and filled them with information that could not only transform your own life, but possibly the lives of those around you?
If you’re like me, the margins are utilized for note taking. Maybe there is something in the book that you don’t want to forget, so you use the margin to jot down a word or perhaps a quick sentence to remind yourself of the significance of the message.
And sometimes, the margins aren’t enough. For example, when I published my book, The #GoodBatting Book, I intentionally left pages blank for hitters and coaches to jot down notes. It’s been flattering when readers show me their books with notes filling those blank pages. To me, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s taking advantage of opportunity at its finest.
But most of us pick up the book of life and focus only on the text provided.
Some of us do enough to get by. Whether it means we do the bare minimum and go home at 5pm, or show up for stretch and settle on being just an average baseball player. Some may argue that it’s better to follow the rules and get to the finish line in one piece – without error, risk or drama.
But what would happen if you focused on living life in the margins? In other words, what would your life look like if you were focusing on getting 1% Better each and every day?
Recently, I sat down with a hitter to map out his off season. Each year, we try to figure out what he needs to do in order to enhance his develop. As the years go by it’s harder and harder to find things to work on.
He’s been a successful player for many years. When he got drafted, not many people would have bet he would one day play his way into the big leagues. He didn’t have the flashy tools, or carry around the big “prospect” tag. But if you watched him play every day, you would quickly realize he was a ballplayer. For what he lacked in “tools” he more than made up for in his baseball IQ and the ability to get the big hit or be positioned in the right spot to help his team win the game. And that’s why he’s now knocking on the big league’s door.
When you climb the ladder of success, you find yourself becoming part of the 1%. Over time, the most successful players in the game realize that what got them there, won’t get them where they want to go.
We never arrive. We are always becoming.
As we sat down across from each other in the coffee shop, I used the square table we were sitting at to explain our plan of attack.
I ran my fingers along the edges of the table, introducing him to the margins. I explained that on paper, his game seemed to be complete. He was a .300 career hitter. His defense had improved over the years to the point where scouts and front office executives didn’t worry about him being a defensive liability anymore. He had transformed his body in the weight room and started to fill out his uniform and looked like a big leaguer. Someone who came to the ballpark to watch him play would support that claim.
He was filling up 99% of the page and was enjoying a successful career. If he retired tomorrow, people would congratulate him on a “nice career.”
But we both knew his past results weren’t going to extend his career or his earnings and we had to continue to find things in his game to improve. Whether it was becoming more consistent in certain areas or continuing to master a strength in others.
As I continued to run my fingers along the sides of the table, I stressed to him that from now on, his development was going to be found in the margins.
To be common is to focus on the text provided. To be uncommon requires you to live and work in the margins.
There is a certain excitement that comes when you can begin to focus on the 1% of the page. There is something attainable and manageable about working in the margins. The focus is heightened knowing that you can elevate your game and your career by doubling down on one or two skills that lead to success.
Think about all of the extra pages printed in a book because the publishers have refused to utilize the entire page. Think about your career. Have you utilized every inch of your page? Have you only been working on things that everyone else is working on?
Take your game and your career to the next level by finding solutions in the margins.
Get 1% Better today.
For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.
He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!